By Brian Cruickshank, AAP
Believe it or not, but Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week is 75 days away. And that means that most companies are either in the middle of, or are starting to, shore up their Industry Week plans. Since Industry Week is such a big deal (and a major expense) for aftermarket companies, this week’s Ask the Industry seeks to find out what companies are planning to do at the show, or what their goals are.
Samuel DeSantos general manager of Auto Tech Engineering Co. said, “For Auto Tech Engineering Co., our goal is to give our factory representatives more exposure at the show this year, with various agencies spending a specific amount of time at the booth and scheduling visits from current and potential clients.
“The other area we will focus on will be our continued efforts in showing that remanufactured products are still a sought-after product, especially through our CV drive axle line. As we see more and more of the ‘Made in China’ product recalls starting to cross various products such as foods, toys and other consumer items we will continue to grow the remanufactured line through quality, value and performance. The agencies that have been with us for some time have been instrumental in our growth and I look forward to seeing them all in Vegas to personally thank them for their continued efforts.”
Tony Barolin, Barolin & Spencer said, “We want to have everything running smoothly for our clients before the show begins. There’s a lot of detail work, as you can imagine. For example, we have several international clients — some based in Germany — so some of the products are prototypes that are being sent to Las Vegas at the last minute. We want to make sure that everything arrives and is attached properly to the booth.
“Another goal is to meet with some potential clients that we’ve been talking to throughout the year. But the first order of business is to make sure all the clients’ materials are in place.
“There seems to be less and less time for us to promote ourselves because we’re so busy promoting our clients, but that hasn’t seemed to have hurt us. We usually end up making a contact that comes to fruition later in the year.”
Bill Glasgow Sr., AAPEX show manager said, “The AAPEX organizers –- AAIA and AASA –- have made a number of enhancements to this year’s show that will really add excitement for exhibitors and buyers. A new ‘Green Zone’ will be located in the Venetian Ballroom where environmentally friendly products for consumers, tools and equipment for working on new-technology vehicles and services and products to enable businesses to have more green practices will be on display.
“We are adding some sizzle to the opening day ceremonies on Tuesday, designating it NASCAR Celebrity Day. You’ll be hearing more about plans to showcase the famous NASCAR drivers and crew chiefs and add some fun to the ribbon cutting.
“Continued investment in the Networking Zone will make it easier for buyers and exhibitors to schedule meetings and create a profile for the show.
“A major enhancement for buyers is a joint promotion that is sending alumni numbers to all SEMA and AAPEX buyer members to allow them to be pre-qualified to register for AAIW. All buyers using their alumni numbers will be mailed their badges and badge holders prior to the show.
“Additionally, we have expanded the educational and professional development offerings this year, but we are, for the first time, jointly promoting the education sessions with SEMA. More information will be included in a brochure that is being mailed with all badges to buyers prior to the show. And, everyone will be happy to hear that we are working to improve transportation between AAPEX and SEMA to allow attendees more time on the show floors.”